Pat Boran

The doorbell rings. I go.
I'm fourteen. That's how it is,
no need to stop or think.

It's the milkman's eldest son,
putting a brave face on it,
wearing his father's shade.

So, quietly, he pours the milk,
pours its at first almost shrill
then rolled then muddy sound

till the gallon's filled.
I close the door and wait
for the milk to settle down.

Years later, for it is years
already, this is how it feels,
answering calls by opening doors,

opening silences, to accept
things not made on the spot
but handed over: love, inheritance.


The 2River View, 2_3 (Spring 1998)